Press releases


Andrew Plested receives Heisenberg Professorship

NeuroCure researcher Andrew Plested has been awarded the prestigious Heisenberg Professorship of the DFG, to be based at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the Institute for Biology. Plested will also continue to lead the Molecular Neuroscience and Biophysics group at the Leibniz Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP).

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How mice babies ensure mother’s protection

Genetic study identifies neuronal circuits responsible for ultrasonic calls uttered by mouse pups

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ERC President visits NeuroCure scientist at the Charité

Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council (ERC), visited the Campus Charité Mitte yesterday for the event "High Risk High Gain - Groundbreaking Research in Berlin" to find out more about ERC-funded projects at the Charité.

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Volker Haucke is a new member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

In recognition of his scientific achievements Prof. Dr. Volker Haucke was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in June 2017. He has thus received one of the highest scientific honors awarded by a German institution.

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Individualizing deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease

Working with colleagues from Harvard Medical School and Würzburg, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been examining the use of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkison’s disease in an attempt to optimize treatment effectiveness. Specifically, they have been looking at which brain regions need to be connected to the electrode used for deep brain stimulation. The researchers found a way to use brain connectivity (i.e. connections in the brain) to predict the best possible relief of Parkinson's Disease symptoms. The results, describing an effective network profile of deep brain stimulation has been reported in the journal Annals of Neurology.

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New therapeutic attack point: Scientists find off-switch for the mTor complex

As the cell's molecular control center, the mTor kinase regulates cellular metabolism, growth and division. However, in cells affected by pathological change, the regulation goes array. Therefore, it would be helpful if the central control could be simply turned off to suppress insulin resistance or cancerous growth for example. Scientists at the Leibniz–Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin (Germany) succeeded in locating a crucial off-switch for the central cell control. Paradoxically, this 'off-switch' is a lipid kinase producing a product previously known for its role in the activation of mTor. The results just appeared in the high-ranking journal 'Science'. They bolster the hopes of patients waiting for new effective therapies against diabetes, obesity, cancer and a rare congenital muscular disease.

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NeuroCure supports Soapbox Science

Soapbox Science: Wissenschaftlerinnen nutzen öffentlichen Raum als Bühne

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Thomas Jentsch receives Honorary Degree of the Medical Faculty of the University of Hamburg

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the progress of neuroscience, Thomas Jentsch was awarded an Honorary Degree of the Medical Faculty of the University of Hamburg at the symposium “Hamburg Neuroscience” in May, 2017.

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How naked mole-rats defy lack of oxygen

When oxygen runs low in their underground burrows, naked mole rats have a unique method of survival. Their metabolism switches from a glucose-based system, which depends on oxygen, to one that makes use of fructose. For a while this suffices to protect sensitive organs such as the heart and brain. Scientists of the Max Delbrück Center of Molecular Medicine now explain this unique survival strategy in the current issue of the journal Science.

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Volker Haucke wird mit Avanti Award für Lipidforschung ausgezeichnet

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) recognises Volker Haucke for his outstanding scientific achievements in membrane biology

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A New Role for Autophagosomes in Neurodegeneration

Autophagosomes are at the center of attention, at least since the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded for research on autophagy in 2016. The much talked about autophagosomes are small membrane vesicles in charge of waste disposal to promote recycling of its components. Scientists of the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and the CECAD Research Center in Cologne who work on degradation and recycling processes in cells, recently made a striking discovery: They found that autophagosomes transport growth signals such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) along axons (long slender nerve cell projections) to the cell body. This signaling process enables survival of nerve cells and stimulates the formation of new branched neurites that allow neurons to interconnect. Nerve cells in the brain will die if the autophagosomal taxis cease to operate. The new discovery shows autophagosomes in a completely new light and fuels hope for new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The results of this research were just published in the renowned science journal Nature Communications.

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More reliably predicting what will work

The translation of preclinical research findings into effective treatments continues to deliver unsatisfactory results. When experimental diagnostic and treatment approaches are applied in practice, many of them fail. What are the reasons behind this? A recent study by researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) has shown that a more flexible approach to study design can significantly improve the efficiency of preclinical research. Results from this research have been published in the current issue of the journal PLOS Biology.*

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Thomas Jentsch receives prestigious award from the European Research Council

For the second time Thomas Jentsch receives the ERC Advanced Grant. The physician and physicist studies the importance of ion channels for health and disease.

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Ulrich Dirnagl appointed first chair of the Center for Transforming Biomedical Research

Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) is offering the first chairs who will play a central role at BIH as the founding directors of new centers dedicated to key research areas. Five W3 professorship appointments were announced in the fields of digital health, clinical translational sciences, disease modeling, genomic medicine, and cell and gene therapy. These are joint appointments with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and are part of a fast-track procedure. In addition, Professor Ulrich Dirnagl was appointed first chair of the Center for Transforming Biomedical Research.


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Gamma oscillations coordinate food seeking

Seeking of food is a crucial survival instinct. However, until recently, little was known about how brain regulates this behavior. Scientists at the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence in Berlin discovered a neuronal circuit which regulates the hypothalamus and activates food-seeking in mice. Surprisingly, this neural mechanism appeared to utilize gamma oscillations, and does not depend on hunger. Optogenetics helped to shed light on the behavioral function of this circuit. The findings allow for better understanding of the mechanisms of feeding behavior, and could lead to development of innovative therapies to treat eating disorders. These results have been published in the scientific journal "Nature".

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Ich glaube mich trifft der Schlag

Why the brain does (or sometimes doesn’t do) what it is supposed to

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Nektar-Evolution: Quantität geht vor Qualität

Wissenschaftler der HU entdecken einen Mechanismus, der nicht-rationales Verhalten erklären könnte

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Explaining memory on the molecular level - Reinhart-Koselleck project for Volker Haucke

The molecular pharmacologist and biochemist Volker Haucke has been granted funding in the Koselleck programme of the DFG for highly innovative research into the mechanisms of neuronal communication.

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Researchers from Charité report success in treating anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis

Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system. It is a rare autoimmune disease that results in the body producing antibodies against the NMDA receptor, a protein that plays an important role in signal transduction in the brain. Using a new treatment regimen, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have recorded significant progress in treating the disease, including in patients who did not previously respond to treatment. Results from this study have been published in the journal Neurology.

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New compound eases neuropathic pain from light touch

The slightest touch can evoke intense pain in patients suffering from nerve injuries or conditions such as diabetic neuropathy. A team of researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) has found a way to suppress pain in mice by applying a newly identified chemical agent to the skin of the animals. The substance blocked the action of an ion channel in nerves which is responsible for the perception of light touch. The activation of this channel also leads to severe pain after injuries, which the substance eliminated. The method could work in humans.

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Neue Erkenntnisse zum Zusammenhang zwischen stressinduzierter Hirnaktivität und Erkrankungsschwere

Wissenschaftler der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin und des Max-Delbrück-Centrums für Molekulare Medizin (MDC) haben den Zusammenhang zwischen Stress und der Aktivität des Gehirns bei Multipler Sklerose untersucht. Sie zeigen, dass sowohl motorische Beeinträchtigungen als auch ein Verlust an Hirnsubstanz die Reaktion des Gehirns auf Stressreize widerspiegeln. Die Befunde könnten eine Erklärung für einen Zusammenhang zwischen psychischer Belastung und dem Fortschreiten von Multipler Sklerose liefern, der bereits in früheren Studien vermutet wurde. Die aktuelle Arbeit ist in der Fachzeitschrift Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences* erschienen.

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Einstein-Zentrum für Neurowissenschaften nimmt Arbeit auf

Festakt zur Eröffnung und wissenschaftliches Symposium vom 8. bis 10. Dezember

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Interdisciplinary Charité laboratory awarded ERC Starting Grant

Having played a central role in the advent of modern life sciences, optical microscopy is now virtually indispensable in research. However, as far as the imaging of living organisms is concerned, the technology continues to be limited to a depth of less than one millimeter due to the effect of light scattering. A research group led by Prof. Dr. Benjamin Judkewitz is planning to overcome these limitations and produce images of deeper tissue layers, such as those within the cerebral cortex. The laboratory's endeavors are being funded by the European Research Council (ERC), which has allocated a total of €1.49 million over a period of five years.

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Jana Marie Schwarz von der Charité und Ingo Schuch von der Humboldt-Universität gewinnen beim Forum Junge Spitzenforscher 2016

Eine Wissenschaftlerin der Charité und ein Wissenschaftler der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin überzeugen beim diesjährigen Wissenschaftswettbewerb „Forum Junge Spitzen-forscher“ zum Thema Digitalisierung in den Lebenswissenschaften. Beide belegen gemeinsam den mit jeweils 10.000 Euro dotierten ersten Platz.

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New insights into activity patterns inside the anesthetized brain

Even under deep anesthesia, nerve cells remain highly active. A study conducted by researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has shown by high-resolution cellular imaging that local neuronal networks remain active even when the brain is unconscious. Under anesthesia, the nerve cells change their mode of operation by firing more synchronously, and by becoming surprisingly reactive to environmental stimuli. Results from this research have been published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.

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Why are we ticklish?

A new study from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has found how “ticklishness” is represented in the rat brain. The study has been published on 11th November 2016 in Science.

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Ulrich Dirnagl receives prestigious Berliner Wissenschaftspreis

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl, Director of Experimental Neurology at the Charité, Director of the Center for Stroke Research Berlin, and NeuroCure researcher, was awarded the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis on November 7, 2016 by the Mayor of Berlin.

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How the naked mole-rat escapes inflammatory pain

In injuries and inflammation, naked mole-rats do not develop normal hypersensitivity to temperature stimuli. This is due to a tiny change in a receptor molecule on cells called TrkA, as a research team from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) and Excellence Cluster NeuroCure has now discovered. The work, which appears in the journal Cell Reports, may be important for pain therapy in humans.

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Christian Spahn is new member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

In recognition of his scientific achievements, Professor Christian Spahn was elected in June 2016 as a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, one of the most prestigious scientific awards given by a German institution.

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Junior researcher receives SEED stipend of the KKNMS

The Disease-Oriented Competence Network Multiple Sclerosis (KKNMS) has awarded Dr. med. Joseph Kuchling (NCRC) a 32,000€ SEED stipend for his innovative MS research project.


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In Memoriam Uwe Heinemann

Prof. Dr. Uwe Heinemann passed away on September 8, 2016. As we grieve the loss of our colleague, mentor and friend, we remember his career and his impact.

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Rapid reaction thanks to "precision protein"

Scientists from the Freie Universität, Charité and Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie gain new insights into the communication between nerve cells.

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Matthias Endres is new member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

In recognition of his scientific achievements, Professor Matthias Endres was elected in July 2016 as a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, one of the most prestigious scientific awards given by a German institution.

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Designer virus acts as a molecular-level switch

The ability to switch disease-causing genes on and off remains a dream for many physicians, research scientists and patients. Research teams from across the world are busy turning this dream into a reality, including a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg. Led by Dr. Mazahir T. Hasan, and working under the auspices of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, the team has successfully programmed a virus to transport the necessary genetic material to affected tissue and nerve cells inside the body. A report on their new virus-based method, which delivers instructions to the host genome without becoming part of it, has been published in the journal Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids*.

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Nobel laureate Südhof on basic science and chances for healing

Professor Thomas C. Südhof, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow, is currently guest at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health (BIH).

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A “time switch” in the brain improves sense of smell

When the brain processes olfactory stimuli, it differentiates between similar smells using subtly modulated signals. Brain examinations and behavioral studies in mice have now shown that neurons with inhibiting characteristics play a key role in this process.

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Benjamin Judkewitz receives Alfried Krupp Prize

Prestigious prize awarded for the first time to a Charité scientist for his research at the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure

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Berlin-based researchers highlight protein important for learning and memory

Humans continue to learn throughout their lives. The underlying process, which is referred to as synaptic plasticity, is the result of activity-dependent modifications of the connections between different nerve cells. Researchers from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure have identified a protein that appears to play a central role in mediating this synaptic plasticity. Results from this study have now been published in the journal eLife*.

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Activation of glutamate receptors: seeing is believing

Our brain is a high-performance computer. One of the key players in this complex system is the AMPA-type glutamate receptor. It ensures that neurotransmission proceeds at a breakneck pace from cell to cell. Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin have now succeeded, by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), to watch activated receptors at work. The scientists detected movements of unexpected parts of the receptor. Never before was activation of AMPARs measured optically and electrically at the same time. This technological breakthrough was recently published in the journal “PNAS”, and suggests new ways to see into the brain, including in pathological situations.

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Wiretapping the senses

The Poulet lab monitors a conversation between sensory perception and behavior in the mouse brain. Many types of sensory information enter the brain at a structure called the primary sensory cortex, where they are processed by different layers of cells in ways that ultimately influence an animal’s perception and behavioral response. James Poulet’s group at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) has now watched the flow of information between the different layers of the cortex for the first time in awake, active mice. Their work, which is published in the June 2 edition of Cell Reports, provides new insights into links between sensory stimuli and behavior.

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Brain stimulation improves ability to speak after stroke

Study with electrical brain stimulation therapy shows positive effects for stroke patients

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Ulrich Dirnagl receives the 2016 Thomas Willis Lecture Award

The prestigious Thomas Willis Lecture Award of the American Stroke Association recognizes a senior investigator who has made major contributions to the understanding of stroke over a sustained period.

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James Poulet receives second grant from the European Research Council

Group leader Dr James Poulet of the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence will receive a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council. Poulet and his team will continue their research on how the brain generates sensory perception.

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Berliner Wissenschaftler prüfen Grundmuster von Entscheidungen

Unser Wille ist freier als bislang angenommen. In computergestützten Experimenten haben Hirnforscher der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin Entscheidungsabläufe am Beispiel von Bewegungen untersucht. Die entscheidende Frage: Lassen sich Prozesse im Gehirn wieder stoppen, wenn sie einmal angestoßen sind? Die Forscher kommen zu dem Schluss: Ja, bis zu einem gewissen Punkt, dem „point of no return“. Die Ergebnisse der Studie sind im aktuellen Fachmagazin PNAS* veröffentlicht.

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Muscle weakness: Berlin scientists unravel defects in rare hereditary disease myotubular myopathy

Tiny deviations in the body's cells can sometimes have severe consequences. Researchers from Berlin have discovered why cells from patients suffering from the rare muscular disease myotubular myopathy cannot function properly. Through the paper published in Nature, it has become clear how a dynamic cellular process essential to muscle development and function is regulated by means of minute changes of certain membrane lipids.

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Gehirnarchitektur von Wirbeltieren ist bisexuell

Genitalien werden im Rattenhirn unisex dargestellt - das haben Forscher um HU-Professor Michael Brecht in einer Untersuchung festgestellt.

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Where Have All the Rodents Gone?

Der Effekt des Verlusts von Versuchstieren bei Schlaganfall- und Krebsstudien auf die Aussagekraft der Studienergebnisse

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Christine Heim in Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften gewählt

Die Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) hat Prof. Dr. Christine Heim am 27. November zum Ordentlichen Mitglied gewählt und in die biowissenschaftlich-medizinische Klasse der Akademie berufen. Die Direktorin des Instituts für Medizinische Psychologie der Charité hat damit nicht nur eine der höchsten wissenschaftlichen Auszeichnungen in Deutschland erhalten, sondern ist gleichzeitig auch eines der jüngsten Mitglieder der Akademie.

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Call for NeuroCure PhD Fellowships 2016

The NeuroCure Excellence Cluster invites applications for its PhD program starting in 2016

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Green waves in the brain

Theta oscillations coordinate navigation and movement

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Shigeki Watanabe wins 2015 Eppendorf/Science Prize

Young neurobiologist honored for novel technique to capture nerve cell activity

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Zwei neue Einstein-Zentren mit Charité-Beteiligung

Förderung von Neurowissenschaften und Katalyseforschung mit 16 Millionen Euro in den nächsten fünf Jahren

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Gehirn unter Strom

Mit elektrischer Stimulation verbessern Mediziner Leistungen des Denkorgans. Über Chancen und Grenzen.

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Wie Nervenzellen sich erinnern

Wissenschaftler der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin haben auf der Ebene einzelner Nervenzellen einen Mechanismus identifiziert, der bei der Gedächtnisbildung eine Rolle spielen könnte. Sie stellten fest, dass rückwärts wandernde elektrische Impulse einen Rezeptor im Innern der Zelle aktivieren und so die Calciumantwort in ausgewählten Bereichen einer Nervenzelle langfristig verändern. Die Ergebnisse der Studie sind in der Fachzeitschrift PloS Biology* veröffentlicht.

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Andreas Heinz ist zum Mitglied der Nationalen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina gewählt worden

In Anerkennung seiner wissenschaftlichen Leistungen ist Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinz im Juli 2015 zum Mitglied der Nationalen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina gewählt worden. Damit hat er eine der höchsten wissenschaftlichen Auszeichnungen erhalten, die eine deutsche Institution vergibt.

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NeuroCure researcher at the Humboldt-Universität receives coveted award from the European Research Council

Matthew Larkum, a NeuroCure researcher and Professor of Neuronal Plasticity at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, has been awarded the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant. This highly coveted grant of 2.5 million euros over five years is awarded to established scientists with outstanding records of achievement and an ambitious and pioneering research project.

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Du Bois-Reymond Prize for Shigeki Watanabe

Shigeki Watanabe, a post-doctoral fellow in the Rosenmund Lab, receives the Du Bois-Reymond Prize of the German Physiological Society.

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Researcher at the FMP receives prestigious award from the European Research Council

Biophysicist Andrew Plested has recently been awarded the prestigious "Consolidator Grant" of the European Research Council (ERC) for his research work. He was successful in his application for one of the most prominent and coveted programmes offered by the European Commission.

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Nature puts the spotlight on NeuroCure researcher's advances in optics

Benjamin Judkewitz, a NeuroCure researcher and Head of the Bioimaging and Neurophotonics Lab at the Charité, was interviewed in a Nature News Feature for his groundbreaking optical techniques for seeing through opaque materials such as living tissue.

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NeuroCure Visiting Fellow publishes second Nature article

The Nature article "Clathrin regenerates synaptic vesicles from endosomes" has been recommended in F1000Prime as being of special significance in its field. The paper is a collaboration of the Rosenmund Lab, NeuroCure Visiting Fellow Erik Jorgensen, and Shigeki Watanabe.

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Nobelpreisträger als Gastforscher in Berlin

Das Projekt des ersten Gastwissenschaftlers am Berliner Instituts für Gesundheitsforschung ist gestartet: Nobelpreisträger Thomas Südhof untersucht gemeinsam mit Christian Rosenmund die Fehlfunktionen von Synapsen.

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Call for NeuroCure PhD Fellowships 2015

The NeuroCure Excellence Cluster invites applications for its PhD program starting in 2014

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Wie erzeugt unser Gehirn Temperatur-Empfindungen?

Auf welche Weise erfassen die Rezeptoren auf unserer Haut, ob etwas warm oder kalt ist? Und wie erzeugt unser Gehirn aus diesen Informationen dann eine Empfindung von der Temperatur eines Objektes? Der Antwort auf diese Fragen sind jetzt Wissenschaftler der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin und des Max-Delbrück-Centrums für Molekulare Medizin Berlin-Buch (MDC) näher gekommen. Sie konnten zeigen, dass die Gehirnregion, die Informationen über haptische Reize verarbeitet, ebenso für die Wahrnehmung von feinen Temperaturunterschieden zuständig ist. Die Ergebnisse der Studie sind in der Fachzeitschrift Nature Neuroscience veröffentlicht.

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Neurobiologe und Demenzforscher wird Einstein-Professor

Stephan Sigrist, Professor für Genetik an der Freien Universität Berlin, kann durch die Unterstützung der Einstein Stiftung Berlin seinen Arbeitsbereich erweitern. Die Förderung dient dem Ausbau seines Labors, in dem ein interdisziplinäres Team aus Neurowissenschaftlern und Genetikern gemeinsam forscht. Sigrist ist einer der herausragenden Experten auf dem Gebiet der zellulären und molekularen Organisation des Nervensystems. In letzter Zeit hat er zudem durch seine Forschung zum besseren Verständnis degenerativer Erkrankungen des zentralen Nervensystems insbesondere bei altersbedingter Demenz beigetragen. Der Biochemiker wird seit Längerem von Spitzenuniversitäten weltweit umworben. Durch seine Förderung als Einstein-Professor bleibt der Hauptstadt ein international gefragter Wissenschaftler erhalten

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Turbocharger for nerve cells: operation of ADHS gene investigated

Individuals with attention-deficit / hyperactivity syndrome (ADHS) often have a higher frequency of mutations in the gene for GIT1 – the research group headed by Volker Haucke has now established the role played by this protein at neuronal synapses. In a second study, the group elucidated fundamentally different pathways through which nerve cells recycle vesicles that release neurotransmitters. Both publications (Cell Reports and Neuron) deal with the age-old, yet unresolved question of how nerve cells are able to fire rapidly and adaptably.

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First 3D model of a synapse

A glance into a new world for neuroscience: research team from Göttingen led by Prof. Dr. Silvio O. Rizzoli present the first scientifically accurate 3D model of a synapse. Published May 30th 2014 in SCIENCE. This effort has been made possible only by a collaboration of specialists in electron microscopy, super-resolution light microscopy (STED), mass spectrometry, and quantitative biochemistry from the UMG, the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie, Berlin.

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FMP-Direktor Volker Haucke wird EMBO-Mitglied

Direktor des Leibniz-Instituts für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) Volker Haucke wird EMBO-Mitglied.

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Charité-Professor Christian Spahn wird EMBO-Mitglied

Der Biochemiker und Molekularbiologe Prof. Dr. Christian Spahn ist von der Europäischen Organisation für Molekularbiologie (EMBO) als neues Mitglied gewählt worden. Mit dieser Wahl wurde Prof. Spahn, Leiter des Instituts für Medizinische Physik und Biophysik der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, für seine herausragenden Forschungsergebnisse im Bereich der Molekularbiologie geehrt.

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Navigationshilfe für Nervenfasern

Woher wissen Nervenfasern, wohin sie wachsen und mit welchen der rund hundert Milliarden Nervenzellen des Gehirns sie eine Verbindung eingehen müssen? Wissenschaftler der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin haben jetzt zwei Moleküle identifiziert, die die Navigation wachsender Nervenfasern steuern. Die Ergebnisse der Studie sind in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Fachzeitschrift Nature Communications* veröffentlicht.

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Lillie Awards for Collaborative Research to NeuroCure Visiting Fellow Eric Jorgensen

Jorgensen and his colleagues from the University of Utah and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin will use novel electron microscopy imaging techniques to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity

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Thomas Südhof wird BIH Visiting Fellow

Stiftung Charité holt Nobelpreisträger Thomas Südhof an das Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung

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Schnell feuernde Nervenzellen recyceln schnell

Wissenschaftlern der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin ist es in Zusammenarbeit mit Kollegen der Universität Utah gelungen, ultraschnelle Prozesse an den Kommunikationsschnittstellen von Nervenzellen zu dokumentieren.

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Interview with Einstein-Professor Dietmar Schmitz (german)

The Einstein Foundation has interviewed researchers they are funding, including NeuroCure board member Dietmar Schmitz.

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Call for NeuroCure PhD Fellowships 2014

The NeuroCure Excellence Cluster invites applications for its PhD program starting in 2014

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The Lancet: “Gold standard” imaging study reveals no association between venous narrowing and multiple sclerosis

A study set up to examine the association between multiple sclerosis (MS) and narrowing of the veins which lead from the brain to the heart has found that there is no significant difference between rates of venous narrowing in people with MS, their unaffected siblings, and unrelated people without MS.

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A Brake in the Head

German researchers gain new insights into the working of the brain

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Administering Natural Substance Spermidin Stopped Dementia

Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Graz Have Shown That Feeding Fruit Flies with Spermidin Suppresses Age-dependent Memory Impairment

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Long-term memory in the cortex

Game changing results: Brain uses the cortex for making sensory associations, not the hippocampuse that a specific form of memory associations is encoded in the cerebral cortex and is not localized in the hippocampus as described in most Neuroscience textbooks. The new study is a game changer since it strongly suggests that the motor cortical circuits itself, and not the hippocampus, is used as memory storage.

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Like an invisible conductor

Researchers from Berlin show how a simple biochemical reaction controls the production of transport particles in cells – a fundamental process for cell growth and communication between cells

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Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers Awarded to James Poulet

For his outstanding achievements in biomedical research, the British neuroscientist Dr. James Poulet of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch has received the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers. The prize, endowed with 60,000 euros, was awarded to the researcher in St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Dr. Poulet works in the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at the Charité in Berlin. According to the prize announcement issued by the Paul Ehrlich Foundation, Dr. Poulet’s research furthers our understanding of the neuronal basis of behavior. His work is of fundamental importance for the development of artificial joints and prostheses.

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New Coordinator at Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure

As of the start of the second funding phase on November 1, 2012, Professor Dr. Christian Rosenmund will be the new Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure. He succeeds Professor Dr. Dietmar Schmitz, who will continue to support NeuroCure as a member of the Board of Directors. Christian Rosenmund was elected to the position of Coordinator at the Cluster of Excellence Members’ Assembly on October 1, 2012.

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Dementia research: Agnes Flöel receives the 2012 Pette Prize of the DGN

One of the most successful and promising up-and-coming scientists and clinicians in German neurology, Prof. Dr. med. Agnes Flöel, Berlin, has been honored with the 2012 Pette Prize.

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NeuroCure moves into new training and research centre

Within the scope of a ceremonial opening, the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin inaugurated its new training and research centre on schedule and just in time for the beginning of the semester. The state-of-the-art building at the historical Campus Charité Mitte unites for the first time important basic disciplines of the Medical Faculty, the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence as well as training facilities in particular for the scientific disciplines of medical studies.

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A Good Network – Important for Brain Activity

Speech, sensory perception, thought formation, decision-making processes and movement are complex tasks that the brain only masters when individual nerve cells (neurons) are well connected. Berlin neuroscientists have now discovered a molecular switch that regulates this networking of nerve cells. The scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) have published their work in the journal Genes and Development.

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Information flow in the brain is not a “one-way street”

A longstanding question in brain research is how information is processed in the brain. Neuroscientists at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure and University of Newcastle have made a contribution towards answering this question. In a new study, they have shown that signals are generated not only in the cell body of nerve cells, but also in their output extension, the axon. A specific filter cell regulates signal propagation. These findings have now been published in the journal Science.

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Success for neuroscience research in Berlin

The continuation of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, an association of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and its universities, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Freie Universität Berlin as well as three non-university research institutes, will sustainably advance the substantial expansion of neuroscience research that Berlin has seen in recent years. Since 2007, university scientists have been collaborating with researchers from the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine (MDC), the Deutsche Rheuma-Forschungszentrum (DRFZ) and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in an interdisciplinary effort across institutional borders to investigate the functions of the nervous system. “Over the past few years, extensive international appointments have enabled us to successfully expand our Berlin-based neuroscience research. Now we can move forward on this path, using the additional funding to further strengthen the cooperation projects we have established”, says a delighted Dietmar Schmitz, spokesman and initiator of the Cluster of Excellence.

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Of Mice and Men

Malfunctioning single proteins can cause disruptions in neuronal junctions leading to autistic forms of behavior. A current study, published in the scientific journal Nature, comes to this conclusion after examining genetically altered mice. The study, in which scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence contributed, thus supports the hypothesis that disruptions in neuronal junctions, i.e. synapses, could be the cause of the development of neuropsychiatric illnesses like autism. The international research team, that included scientists from Ulm University and the Institut Pasteur in Paris, ascribes a key role to the excitatory synapses. This finding could become an important step stone for future autism therapies.

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Research Prize for Berlin Young Investigator

The Berlin scientist Tatiana Korotkova of the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has been awarded this year’s Young Investigator Grant of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).

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Using 7-T brain MRI Charité and MDC researchers show: Multiple sclerosis more destructive than previously thought

Using 7-T brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) researchers in Berlin have shown nearly twice as much damage in the brain of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) as with the 1.5-T MRI typically used in routine clinical diagnosis. "MS patients should therefore in the future be treated much earlier and even more consistently," recommends study director Prof. Friedemann Paul of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure and the Experimental and Clinical Research Center of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin-Buch (Archives of Neurology published online Feb. 20, 2012. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.2450)*.

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Professor Michael Brecht receives Liebniz Prize 2012

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht, member of the NeuroCure Board of Directors and Speaker of the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, received the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Liebniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) 2012 worth 2.5 million euros, on 27th February. In a statement, the DFG explained: „The Leibniz Prize for Michael Brecht honours a scientist whose original research approaches and innovative methods have broken new ground in neurobiology.“

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How the brain communicates

An important mechanism by which the human brain hemispheres communicate with each other has been discovered by a team of researchers from Berlin and the University of Bern. The findings, which appear in the current issue of the journal Science, provide new insights into nerve cell communication in the brain that could also play a role in stroke.

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Accelerated Search for Active Agents to Treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Professor Erich Wanker of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and of the Excellence Cluster Neurocure is to receive EUR 675 000 in funding from the Helmholtz Association over the next two years. The grant shall be used to accelerate the search for active agents to treat diseases that are caused by protein misfolding. These include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The grant amount will be matched by the MDC, a member institution of the Helmholtz Association, which means that the total funding for the research project will be EUR 1.35 million.

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Sugar for the Brain

Oxygen and glucose are the food of our brain. If they are absent, such as during a stroke, nerve cells die. An international research team at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, and McMaster University, Canada, has discovered a novel mechanism to prevent this cell death. The results of the study have now been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

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When nerve cells stop speaking

By researching fruit flies, neuroscientists of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence in Berlin were able to gain a better understanding of a meaningful mechanism of neuronal communication. They demonstrated the importance of a specific protein for signal transmission between nerve cells. This is of high significance as certain people with autism – a functional development disturbances of the brain – suffer from genetic defects in this protein. Therefore the findings could improve the possibility of treating this disease more effectively. The results are presented in the latest issue of the professional journal Science.

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Discovery of a new muscle repair gene

An international team of researchers from England and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has presented new findings regarding the function of muscle stem cells, which are published in the current issue of the journal Nature Genetics*. The researchers investigated several families with children suffering from a progressive muscle disease. Using a genetic analysis technique known as “next generation sequencing” the scientists identified a defective gene called MEGF10 responsible for the muscle weakness.

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NeuroCure researchers awarded prestigious EU grant

Two researchers of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie Berlin (FMP) have independently of one another received the renowned European Research Council (ERC) research award. Neurobiologists Prof. Gary Lewin (MDC) and Prof. Thomas Jentsch (MDC/FMP) will each receive an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.5 million euros in research support.

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Christian Otte appointed Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at NYU

Professor Christian Otte from the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has been appointed Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University (NYU).

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New Findings Concerning Function of the Hippocampus

A research team from Berlin, Munich and Haifa has presented new findings concerning the function of the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is important for memory formation. The researchers investigated cellular mechanisms of high-frequency rhythms, which play a key role in memory processes, and possibly also in various brain disorders, albeit in a different manner.

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Small molecules hit it big - new therapeutic approaches against viruses, bacteria, and cancer

Scientists from the Freie Universität Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence led by biochemist Volker Haucke in collaboration with colleagues from Australia and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin have developed small molecules that inhibit the internalization of important signalling molecules but also of pathogenic organisms such as the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and bacteria into cells. These compounds inhibit the function of the cellular scaffold protein clathrin und could thereby serve as a starting point for novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer, viral or bacterial infections or neurological disorders. These results were published in the latest issue of the prestigious journal Cell.

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And fire! - How nerve cells are kept up to speed

Scientists from the Freie Universität Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence led by Volker Haucke in collaboration with colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin have unravelled a mechanism involved in the reformation of neurotransmitter containing membrane vesicles in the brain. Perturbations of this reformation process because of mutations in key proteins such as CALM and AP180 are a possible cause for the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. These results were published in the latest online issue of the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

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New hope fighting immune diseases

A certain type of immune cells that assumes new functions in the intestine proves to be an effective aid in fighting autoimmune disorders. This discovery was made by researchers of the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin, an institute of the Leibniz Association, the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence and the Yale University School of Medicine, and is presented in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature*.

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Another success in health research for Berlin

By establishing a new site for the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the scientists from Berlin have once again been suc-cessful in a nationwide competition with their research concept.

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Measuring the world by the brain – Scientists identify circuits with which rats map the environment

For the first time, researchers at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Bernstein Center Berlin and NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence explain how the cellular architecture of spatial memory is related to its role in orientation. In the journal Neuron, they present a new technique with which they could examine the activity and interconnection of individual neurons in freely moving animals. This method allowed them to identify the circuits with which rats capture and learn the spatial structure of their environment.

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Welt-MS-Tag: Einladung zum Pressegespräch

Berliner Einstein‐Professor besucht Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Stiftung NRW (DMSS NRW) anlässlich des Welt‐MS‐Tages

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Berlin neuroscientists decode crucial component in brain signal processing

A team of neuroscientists from NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, have made a major breakthrough in understanding how signals are processed in the human brain. The paper, published in the current issue of the scientific journal Neuron, shows that a certain type of protein – the “vesicular glutamate transporter” (VGLUT) plays a crucial part in the strength regulation of synaptic connections. This regulation enables synapses to vary in strength.

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